Posted by: facetothewind | February 29, 2012

A Burmese reduction sauce

How does one capture an entire country in just a handful of photos? It was my goal to shoot as few pictures as possible to capture the essence of the people of this isolated country. Still, I shot nearly over 2,000 photos in Myanmar during my month there. I then promptly deleted half of them right out of the camera while sitting in taxis and train stations. And then the ruthless deletions continued again and again as I reviewed them in the camera and showed them to folks, measuring their responses. Returning to America I cooked the remaining photos down to my top 10 and then a slideshow of the second choicest 83 photos. Here’s my attempt to capture Burma in photos:

Monks at dawn in Inle Lake

Boy in fishing village in Ngapali.

I fell in love with cat like Burmese eyes…gorgeous almond shapes that remind me of ancient Indian and Egyptian art.


Train to Pyin Oo Lwin from Hsipaw

The above is probably my favorite photo of the trip. I studied Henri Cartier Bresson’s work as a kid and then again before this trip. I set out to tell a story in photos as Cartier Bresson did. And that one (above) does. The woman had spilled her oranges at a train stop. After this shot I put down my camera and climbed under the train to help her pick up her lost harvest. She was thrilled and rewarded me with 3 free oranges.

Hsipaw train station in the morning fog and smoke.

Silk weaver in village on Inle Lake

The above is probably my second favorite photo of the whole trip because of the softness of the spinning silk yarn wheels and the softness of the open window lighting. Plus, it’s a man spinning—something I’d never seen before.

Sebastian and our horse carriage driver in Bagan.

Boy in fishing village at Ngapali Beach.

I shot all these kid photos on the porch of a house while Sebastian was lured in by a local boy who wanted to show him everything in the house and give him gifts. I think he had a crush on Sebby but was probably too young to know what he was feeling. He just latched onto him the moment he saw him at a temple and then the conversation continued all the way to their house. In the end the boy gave us pearls, shells, crystals, and some Burmese music CDs.

Friends in fishing village in Ngapali.

Woman on porch in fishing village Ngapali.

Here are the remaining top choices. You can mouse-over the slideshow and advance them manually at your own pace…

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  1. Many of these photos belong in a gallery–gorgeous! You so beautifully captured the warmth and humanity of the Burmese, I can see why people fall in love with Burma and its people.

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